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Can we bring a cooler with meats and veggies on the BVI ferry?

June 14, 2011 06:36PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 458

We are chartering a sailboat this weekend out of Tortola for a week and some of our items we can not get provisioned by Bobby's on Tortola. Does anyone know 100% if we are able to bring a cooler with some meats and veggies along with bottles of Cruzan (and wine) through BVI customs?
I called Smith's Ferry and they kind of laughed it off and said they hadn't seen anyone turned away at customs. But, I don't want to have to throw away several hundred dollars worth of good food and alcohol.

Help needed!

Re: Can we bring a cooler with meats and veggies on the BVI ferry?

June 14, 2011 09:49PM

Registered: 7 years ago
Posts: 481

We did the same thing. I live in St. Croix and bought all our lunch meats and had cold veggies. We rented a boat in Tortola and some of the stuff I brought back through customs in St. Thomas. They looked at the meats and said I was lucky I bought the stuff in US because they would have had to throw it away. Don't know about the wine or Cruzan.
I have been through customs so much with bags of goodies to eat since we took lots of trips to BVI's while looking for boats and stayed overnight. I never remember them even noticing what we were carrying.

Re: Can we bring a cooler with meats and veggies on the BVI ferry?

FL Barrier Islander
June 15, 2011 07:11AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 485

We have chartered from VIP/Compass Point Marina/St. Thomas many, many times over the last 20 years - including as recently as April 2010. We always stop at Pueblo (in the old days) or Cost-U-Less (more recently) for provisions. We've cleared BVI customs in Jost as well as Tortola. We've never had any problem clearing customs in BVI with regards to our provisions we purchased in the US/St. Thomas and are bringing into the BVI.

Re: Can we bring a cooler with meats and veggies on the BVI ferry?

FL Barrier Islander
June 15, 2011 07:21AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 485

Now...........not sure about coming back into the US from the BVI. We do a pretty good job of planning our provisions and the last night we have a "drink the boat dry" party. So, generally, on the return, we get off the boat "hollywood style" - one bag in hand.

Re: Can we bring a cooler with meats and veggies on the BVI ferry?

June 15, 2011 08:47AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 1,943

I agree with FL Barrier Islander. When bareboating, I never had a problem bringing any kind of food, meat or booze from USVI to BVI, and I declared everything.

Not so easy getting it back from BVI to USVI. Once, they told me to take the perishables to a burn site to have it destroyed. Another time they waved me in without issue.

Re: Can we bring a cooler with meats and veggies on the BVI ferry?

June 15, 2011 12:53PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 677

We have brought meats and veggies into the BVI via ferry for years, no problem. I assume that is as per the rule; I dunno, we have come to know lots of the folks at the customs area.

Coming back to USVI with meats, problem: we once had several frozen uncooked steaks seized. At the last minute we had decided to fly to Beef Island (BVI) for a few days in Tortola before going on to St. John by ferry, and forgot all about the problem of fresh food. Aggravating! Somebody ate well that night. We have dealt with the problem by lightly cooking all foods before freezing and transporting them.



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